When we refuse to sacrifice our time for the sake of busyness or of keeping up with the person next to us, we can get back to the good stuff. We can enjoy the rewards that come from instilling these values in our children. We can get back to the simple joys that we would otherwise miss out on as we go through motherhood and life. We forget the abundant beauty that’s hidden in the simplest moments. We forget that oftentimes it is these moments that end up meaning the most to us.
We can’t see what’s right in front of our faces if we are constantly looking ahead to what’s next on our calendars. Our priorities shift, and we lose sight of the beauty in life. We stress about the board we agreed to be on, the cookies we have to bake for the bake sale, and the other commitments we have to juggle, and we no longer have time for what really matters.
Will I still let our children do sports, clubs, and other activities? Absolutely. But what I won’t allow is for those things to become our priority and steal our time and family. I won’t let our schedule be so overloaded that we can’t breathe. I won’t sacrifice our family’s valuable time together for the sake of trying to live up to other moms.
I will also still volunteer in church, bake cookies, and help out with kindergarten art class. After all, while we have great freedom in deciding what to put on our schedules, we are still called to have servants’ hearts. Galatians 5:13 says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
As I go through life, I want to be able to look back and know that my children were taught the important lessons and skills they needed for their adult lives, even if the way they learned them looked a little different from the experience of most kids. I want to know that we loved our neighbors and served others well and that we valued our time around our dinner table and refused to sacrifice it every night.
When I am old and gray, I want to sit on my front porch and remember the way we sat on the couch, surrounded by our children, with nowhere else to be. The times we took in the raw beauty of life’s moments and actually savored them. I want to remember the way we sat at our coffee table and played board games and drank hot chocolate. I don’t want to remember that we were too busy to have a picnic in the living room or that our schedules were so full that we didn’t have time to play tag in the yard and watch the sun set.
The times when we have found the most joy have been the moments that weren’t structured or planned down to the minute. To sit around a campfire and watch the joy on your children’s faces as they are covered in s’mores is unforgettable. Those are the moments I want to remember. I no longer want to sacrifice the great so I can have the good.
Friend, I don’t want you to miss out on these moments. I don’t want you to look back and not have the memories of sunsets, s’mores, and campfires. And while I don’t believe we can ever find the perfect balance, can I just encourage you today to evaluate whether you could give up good in exchange for great?
Caitlin Henderson is a small-town girl from Kansas who fell in love with a farmer. She and her husband have three kids who keep her on her toes and clinging to coffee. Caitlin is passionate about showing people Jesus and writing about her family’s life full of grace, craziness, love, dirt, and cows. The Henderson family lives on a grain-and-cattle farm in south-central Kansas.
Excerpted from Faith, Farming, and Family: Cultivating Hope and Harvesting Joy Wherever You Are. Copyright © 2021 by Caitlin Henderson. Used by permission of WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.